Ford seeks to patent expertise to lock out drivers who’re late on automobile funds


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A newly printed patent utility from Ford has revealed that the American automaker needs to have the ability to lock drivers out of their autos for nonpayment and even enable the automobile to repossess itself.

The patent doc, obtained by Drive, was printed in February 2023 and is titled “Methods and Strategies to Repossess a Automobile,” which outlines completely different strategies that may be taken if the automobile proprietor misses funds.


The applying describes the set up of a “repossession system laptop,” which might be able to disabling “a performance of a number of parts of the automobile,” together with the air-con, and radio, “incessant and ugly sound” could also be turned on “each time the proprietor is current within the automobile,” and even inserting the automobile in a “lockout situation,” that means it’s unable to be pushed until within the case of an emergency state of affairs like needing to go to the hospital. 

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No different automakers have not too long ago tried to patent the same system, and certainly the Ford patent does not reference some other authorized doc for the sake of clarifying its concept. Patent paperwork, particularly purposes like this one don’t essentially characterize an automaker’s intent to introduce the described characteristic, course of, or expertise to its autos. Ford may simply be making an attempt to guard this concept for the sake of doing so. The doc consists of a substantial amount of element as to how such a system may work, although.

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In response to the patent utility, in case your automobile is linked to the web in any method, this technique might theoretically work on it. The applying likewise describes a “repossession laptop” that could possibly be put in on future automobiles to make this technique operate easily, but it surely additionally states no further {hardware} essentially must be put in on the automobile for it to operate. “In some embodiments, the automobile laptop could also be configured to carry out some, or all, capabilities of the repossession system laptop.” Principally, in case your automobile has an infotainment system already set as much as obtain one thing like over-the-air updates, this might in all probability work with out bodily modifications.


The automobile would difficulty a number of warnings earlier than the system initiated a proper repossession. If these warnings have been ignored, the automobile might start to lose performance forward of a repo. The primary misplaced capabilities could be minor inconveniences like “cruise management, automated window controls, automated seat controls, and a few parts of the infotainment system (radio, international positioning system (GPS), MP3 participant, and many others.)” The subsequent stage is extra severe, and consists of the lack of issues like “the air-con system, a distant key fob, and an automatic door lock/unlock system.” Likewise, an “incessant and ugly sound” could also be turned on “each time the proprietor is current within the automobile.”

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If the proprietor blocks makes an attempt to repossess, the automobile’s laptop could “transmit a criticism to the pc related to the police authority.”


In response to The Drive, Ford’s utility doesn’t imply that the automaker would essentially implement this expertise however as an alternative shield its concept. With the mentions of autonomous autos, this expertise could possibly be years away.

Ford didn’t instantly reply for remark.

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